“ Address: Willings House / Grays Inn Road / Kings Cross / London WC1X 8BH / England / Tel: 0870 191 1757 „
Note: There are several Travelodge hotels in this area. The one I am reviewing is the Kings Cross Travelodge (also known as Travelodge Kings Cross Central). The Kings Cross Royal Scot on the Kings Cross Road used to be the Thistle Islington and since it became a Travelodge it has become very run down and I would not recommend it. There is another Travelodge at Euston Station and another further along Kings Cross Road called Travelodge Farringdon.
As I wanted us to go away again less than a week after returning from another trip, I had to promise to find some cheap accommodation: my problem was that I wanted to go to London.
The main purpose of the trip was to see the Malicious Damage (Joe Orton ) exhibition at Islington Museum and as our train comes in at Kings Cross it seemed reasonable to look for somewhere in this area. The Kings Cross Travelodge is within two minutes walk of the Kings Cross and St. Pancras Stations and ten minutes walk from Euston. We were able to get a double room through the Travelodge website for a shade under £50. This price did not include breakfast.
Although we knew that we were too early to check in we hoped to leave our luggage at the hotel and go off to the museum. Unfortunately this hotel does not have a luggage room because, according to the receptionist, it is too small. We asked if we might be able to leave our luggage at one of the other Travelodges if we showed our paperwork and were told we could go to the one on Kings Cross Road but would have to pay £5 each. We decided to try the left luggage office at Kings Cross station but it costs £8.50 per item there so we trundled off to the other hotel. Early check in is possible at the Kings Cross Central Travelodge for an additional £10 but this isn't available until noon and we had arrived at 10.30am.
The Kings Cross Travelodge is in a rather nice old brick building with gothic features and certainly makes a pleasant change visually from the concrete monstrosities that Travelodges usually are. One or two of the architectural features remain inside the hotel too, such as the rather nice staircase and the high ceilings and panelling in the bar/breakfast room. Our room faced onto the Grays Inn Road which is busy at most times of the day and night and even when both layers of glazing are closed, you do still hear the traffic noise. If this is likely to bother you I would suggest that this is not the hotel for you; personally I fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow and contrary to my usual routine, I slept until 8.30am, not once waking, which is unheard of for me.
Our first impressions of the hotel's public areas and of our own room were good. Unlike at the Travelodge on Kings Cross Road (where there was also a horrible stench of rotten cabbage in the corridors) the paintwork in the corridors was clean and fresh and the carpets were unstained. Our room was spotless with no obvious damage to furniture, fittings or soft furnishings. The shower room/toilet was also spotless; a bathmat would have been appreciated though. Overall it's basic but good. In fact, we'd paid more for a fairly grotty hostel in Cambridge two weeks earlier, an establishment that made this Travelodge look like the Ritz.
Throw in a television and a kettle (with enough coffee and tea for an overnight stay) and you've got the only extras you really need in London; with the whole capital to explore why spend more time in your room than absolutely necessary. A vending machine in reception sells snacks, soft drinks and a limited selection of toiletries but there are plenty of shops in the area that stay open till late if you need something.
Although we didn't have breakfast at the hotel a poster in reception advertised an all you can eat continental style breakfast for £5.40 which isn't bad at all if you are going to really fill up. Pubs in the area were advertising a hot breakfast for between £7.00 and £8.00 but there are plenty of 'greasy spoon' joints around the station where you'll pay a lot less.
This being a budget hotel there are few frills. Except for the tea and coffee and one miserly bar of soap there are no freebies here; of course, this keeps the cost down. There is free wi-fi in the bar, paid for terminals in the lobby, or wi-fi in the rooms for a charge.
Travelodge often gets a bad press; given the choice of one or t'other I'd rather stay at a Premierinn but this particular Travelodge exceeded my expectations. For budget accommodation it's very good, way better than the Kings Cross Road Travelodge and miles better than any of the B&Bs I've stayed at in the quiet squares on the south side of Kings Cross.
Not one for light sleepers but absolutely fine as a no frills basic hotel for those who sleep like logs.
I stayed in this Travelodge on a Sunday for one night with my husband and two children, before catching the Eurostar from St Pancras. Here is what we thought of it.
Finding it - The Travelodge is very easy to find, it is practically oppisite Kings Cross mainline train station, just off of the busy Euston road. Be cafeful you have the right one though as there are two Travelodges in Kings cross, this one and one called Kings cross royal Scot. This one is much nearer the stations.
On arrival - We arrived at the hotel about five p.m, check in is from 3 p.m. There is an early check in option which costs £10 per room and lets you go to your room from 12 p.m, this is not bookable though, you just turn up and ask to check in early. There is no facility for leaving luggage before check in time.
The reception desk is immediately as you walk in the door, there were two members of staff. Check in was so easy, no forms to fill in or sign, no need to leave credit card details or anything, just say your name and you are given the room key card. A continental breakfast is available for £5.95 per adult/ child over 12, for children under twelve it is free. Breakfast is served between 7 am and 10:30 am. We didn't have breakfast in the hotel, so I can't comment on the quality.
In the reception area there are several vending machines selling hot and cold drinks, sweets, crisps and chocolate, also they were selling toothbrushes, shampoo and other toiletries.
The room - The room is exactly what you would expect from a Travelodge, it was basic. There was a double bed and a sofa that could be turned into a bed, we had to do this ourselves although all the duvet covers and sheets were provided. There was a desk with a T.V and tea and coffee making facilities.
The bathroom was tiny, it had a shower, toilet and sink. No toiletries are provided.
Whilst it was basic and nothing fancy, it was fine for our needs, it was clean and in good order. The bed was comfortable and we all had a good nights sleep.
Being so close to two very busy train stations you do hear trains going past, but these were not overly noisy for us and didn't disturb our sleep- we were at the back of the hotel so it may be different for those rooms near the front.
Check out - Easy peasy, just pop your key into a box and go - simples.
I would definitely use this hotel again if I was catching an early Eurostar train. The location is perfect, near to both kings cross and St Pancras, near to a multitude of bars, restaurants and fast food outlets. And looking at some of the other hotels and guest houses available in the area I would say this was a palace.
We got a very good deal as we booked early, the room cost just £25. I just checked to see how much it would be to book for this Sunday and it would cost £130, so I strongly recommend booking as early as you can.
This hotel is not fancy, and offers nothing above a basic room, but it was ideal for us.